By: qwerty53

Jun 17 2013

Category: 90 years going strong, Celebrate Life, Dancing, Poignant Portraits of Human Lives, Uncategorized

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Focal Length:22mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D300S

“I never thought that at this age I would be so happy!” Gloria Hudson said. “I am very grateful and intend to stay active.”

Gloria grew up in Denver, a child of two parents who loved to ballroom dance. She recalls her father would twirl her and her sister around the room.

“They said we learned how to dance and right after that, we learned how to walk.”

Gloria lived in Mountain Brook with her husband of 56 years, who died in 2002. Meanwhile, Dick Paxton, originally a Hoosier, and a SeaBee who served in World War II in 1945, had moved from Roebuck, KY, to Pelham with his wife of 53 years to be near children and grandchildren. His wife died from cancer in 2001. Dick has survived oral cancer and a heart attack.

The couple met at the new Pelham Senior Center when Gloria decided to attend the Tuesday line dancing classes.

“I thought my dancing days were over after my husband passed,” Gloria said, “so when I came to the center, there was Dick in the line dancing class and one thing led to another and we began ballroom dancing together.”

The couple met in April and married in December 10, 2007 at the Shades Valley Presbyterian Church, where everyone joined in to dance in Fellowship Hall. Their families also held a celebratory reception at the historic Brown and Seelbach Hotels in Louisville.

They tease each other affectionately. “We got married so I could have knee surgery and have someone to take care of me. Besides, I was crazy about him!”

Dick adds, “She thought I had money; I though she had money; we were both fooled!”

“We built a new house – it’s our castle. He’s the king and I’m the queen. We have a beautiful yard that we work in all the time. My kids call it the Pelham Botanical Gardens!”

Gloria and Dick dance weekly with other area groups. They dedicate themselves to coordinating the monthly PSC dance each third Friday. Together they buy and set out refreshments, decorate the tables, hire the band, and clean up. They say attendance is usually 35 or 40; the maximum is 50 for the space.

With family members, they have traveled to Branson, Williamsburg, Orlando, Phoenix, Santa Fe, and Colorado They’ve also visited Dick’s son in Maui, Hawaii.

“We love each other’s children—his daughter is about my best friend,” Gloria smiles. “All the children and grandchildren call me “Bami” and he is known as Papa Dick.”

Gloria and Dick agree, “We have more fun than the law allows—we dance, we work in yard, we work with the Library Guild. We enjoy the walking trails. We have fun every day!”

These two, who go together like peanut butter and jelly, according to PSC Director Regina Jiminez, celebrate their anniversary each month, so here’s wishing Gloria and Dick a Golden & Happy 60th Anniversary!

Published in Pelham City News magazine, December 2012.

Photo taken on the occasion of Gloria Hudson’s 90th birthday
with Barbara Roberts, Mayor Gary Waters, Gloria Hudson & Dick Paxton, and musician Jim Connor


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